This book is about the life and death and rebirth of myth. For those who have fallen out of myth, the experiences described here may be familiar, but for those who are able to live inside the cultural myths, these experiences may seem alien. I write for those who have experienced the loss of vitality and hold the secret in lonely isolation; for those, as Jung said, who, “…find themselves in the wilderness”; those who for whom personal meaning becomes a way of life.D. Stephenson Bond, Living Myth
Perhaps many things inside you have been transformed; perhaps somewhere, someplace deep inside your being, you have undergone important changes while you were sad. The only sadnesses that are dangerous and unhealthy are the ones that we carry around in public in order to drown them out with the noise; like diseases that are treated superficially and foolishly, they just withdraw and after a short interval break out again all the more terribly; and gather inside us and are life, are life that is unlived, rejected, lost, life that we can die of. If only it were possible for us to see farther than our knowledge reaches, and even a little beyond the outworks of our presentiment, perhaps we would bear our sadnesses with greater trust than we have in our joys. For they are the moments when something new has entered us, something unknown; our feelings grow mute in shy embarrassment, everything in us withdraws, a silence arises, and the new experience, which no one knows, stands in the midst of it all and says nothing.Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
A living myth is in many ways a fantasy that has become a way of life. To me, the most vital aspect of mythology is not found in the stories of gods and goddesses of long ago, nor in the the psychological truths those stories reflect, but rather in the contemporary framework of images and meaning that are found in our way of life—the rhythm and structure of our weekly, monthly, and yearly cycles—and the myth that informs our life.
The problem is, however, that we don’t trust our own mythic imagination. In fact, the eruption of mythological fantasies in a person’s life is a psychological problem of a first degree. Other cultures in other times had ways of integrating mythological experiences into the whole fabric of personal and social life. We, by contrast, often don’t know what to make of such experiences.D. Stephenson Bond, Living Myth
It’s never enough to just tell people about some new insight. Rather, you have to get them to experience it a way that evokes its power and possibility. Instead of pouring knowledge into people’s heads, you need to help them grind anew set of eyeglasses so they can see the world in a new way.John Seely Brown